Not a big fan of Christmas normally – but Christmas at Emerald made this Grinch re-think the holiday season. You could even say it restored my belief in the Christmas spirit.
Ten years ago, I lost my brother at Christmas. It always makes me very sad as Christmas approaches. Each year I abandoned my family for Christmas and sat on a tropical island by the ocean reading novels.
Working at Emerald Retirement Residence this year gave me a new outlook on the season. The residents started to get into the holiday season before December first. They all pitched in decorating the halls, lobby, activity room – even the big green Emerald bus. The bus looked so amazing that they entered the Santa Claus parade in Niagara Falls. Several trips were made on the bus to see the Winter Festival of Lights nearby.
Many of the residents entered Christmas craft workshops and made gorgeous fresh cedar door swags. Some did needlepoint, quilting, knitting, painting, woodwork and more. These beautiful Christmas gifts were displayed and a Christmas Bazaar was held. The bazaar was jam-packed with buyers and sellers. Nothing was left unsold!
We had several visits from our favourite therapy dog – Chewy and his owner Fran. Both would dress up in their Santa costumes and spread their cheer. Two ladies’ quartet groups came in to entertain the crowd and we had many Christmas carol sessions with live entertainment.
There were Christmas parties happening all the time. We had a big turkey dinner with lots of Christmas treats and a visit from Santa. Residents spread their cheer with each other and the staff. Many exchanged hugs, cards, goodies and cheer.
Some folks went home to visit their families and those that stayed had a beautiful holiday with the rest of their “other family” in this wonderful retirement residence. Many visitors came to see their family members and some joined in the activities.
As I chatted with all the residents at Emerald I realized that some had declining health – or no family or friends left but they made the best of their time here each day. I now recognize that I am still blessed with good health, great friends and a family that still loves me.
Christmas is fun, active and full of life and hope at Emerald Retirement Residence. I’d like to thank these good folks living at Emerald for giving me back that old Christmas spirit!